France – World – Second day of jury deliberations in the Trump trial

Former US President Donald Trump at Manhattan Courthouse in New York, May 30, 2024

AFP PHOTO / Steven Hirsch

Arriving at the Manhattan criminal court, which he is prohibited from leaving during all deliberations, the Republican candidate once again denounced a “junk court” and a trial orchestrated according to him by his opponent, Democratic President Joe Biden .

“I just want to say that it is a very sad day for America (…) Everything is rigged,” he added, while he will be judged by citizens of New York chosen at random and selected by the defense and the prosecution.

Since Wednesday, these seven men and five women, immersed for six weeks in this affair with extraordinary stakes, began to deliberate, behind closed doors in a court room.

After a few hours of work, they asked to be able to rehear extracts from certain testimonies, as well as the instructions of the judge who presided over the trial, Juan Merchan, which the magistrate began to do Thursday morning. In the courtroom, Donald Trump listens silently. Behind him took place one of his sons, Eric.

After debates during which it was often a question of sex, money and the conquest of power, they must answer a single question: was Donald Trump guilty of 34 falsifications of accounting documents, intended to hide a $130,000 payment to porn actress Stormy Daniels to avoid a sex scandal at the very end of her 2016 presidential campaign?

A positive response would tip the 2024 US presidential campaign into an unknown scenario.

Top court cases facing Donald Trump, former President of the United States, as of May 9, 2024 AFP PHOTO / Olivia BUGAULT, Sophie RAMIS

Donald Trump, Republican candidate, could appeal and still appear on November 5 against Joe Biden, the 81-year-old outgoing Democratic president, but with a heavy hat to wear, that of a convict in court.

If convicted, the judge would pronounce the sentence in several weeks, probably before November 5. The sentence can go, in theory and at most, up to 4 years in prison, but the magistrate can also decide on a lighter sanction, such as a prison sentence with suspended probation, or even simple community service.

Donald Trump, who has silently attended the debates since April 15, did not testify during his trial.

Former US President Donald Trump at Manhattan Courthouse in New York, May 30, 2024 AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN LANE

Even the Catholic saint “Mother Teresa could not brush aside these accusations,” he stormed on Wednesday, after Judge Juan Merchan had finished reading his instructions.

Jurors’ deliberations can take several days. They will have to be unanimous to declare Donald Trump guilty or not guilty.

This case is only one of four cases in which the Republican candidate is charged. But the trial in New York will probably be the only one to be judged before the presidential election on November 5.

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